Monday, 18 November 2013

A Mini Christmas Easel!

Hello from Magpieheaven and I hope you are all keeping warm and cosy whatever your nest happens to be! My thoughts are still with those suffering the effects of the typhoon in the Philippines and now also with those affected by the devastation in the Mid West of America. It was a bit of a gloomy day yesterday so I wanted to cheer myself up with some Christmas craft. This is something I made in between cooking Sunday lunch for the family, which now includes my mum who we can collect to come and share our Sunday meal with us. I had intended to start my Christmas cards, but somehow whenever I begin - with the best of intentions - I become distracted and find myself engaged on another project! This time I was all set. I had just received some lovely new Artistic Outpost stamps and I was ready to play! Then I saw a large piece of corrugated card and I started to experiment. What I found myself creating would be impossible to mail, but I decided it would make a nice centre-piece for my mantel piece which I'm planning to decorate with a garland. Here is how it started!
I played with my corrugated card, cutting out a square and tearing off the surface layer then experimenting with Gesso by Claudine Helmuth, Fresco paints in Cinnamon and Blood Orange and some Rose Quartz Treasure Gold. I also had a mini wooden easel which had come with a little canvas from The Works. I love these for displaying tags and I started to wonder ... what about if I decorated it, altered it so that it became a part of my corrugated Shabby Chic Christmas project? This is where my playing took me! Please click on the images that follow, if you would like to see in more detail: it was a mini project and quite difficult to photograph, as I went crazy with the frantage and Stickles! I do hope no-one had Mica flakes in their chicken casserole!
First I Gessoed the easel liberally, making it as splodgy as possible. I then applied Shabby Blue and Shabby pink Frantage to the easel and heated this until it glittered frostily. Then I had a play with something I've never used before. I love the way that Laura and Alison Bomber use wire so imaginatively on their projects. I wanted to see how wire would look daubed in Gesso. Mr Magpie kindly let me have a roll of thin wire from his tool cupboard as we passed in the hall - him off to lay paving stones in the garden, me having just made the roux for the casserole! I curled the wire around a pencil and then I found that I could attach it to the big blobs of Gesso and it soon became a part of the frame! I frantaged these wire 'vines' too and that both integrated and secured them!
I then punched out some little leaves from card, which I painted with Fresco 'Ice Blue' and touched with White Fire Treasure Gold and a little sprinkling of frantage! Then it was time for some fun with Shrink Plastic - still one of my favourite craft materials! I die-cut some leaves with a Tim Holtz tattered leaves die, having first painted and scored the Shrink Plastic. I used Fresco Guacamole because the colour deepens when you heat the plastic and this is a nice pale shade of green. I used Frosted Lace Distress Stickles on my leaves and tipped them with more Gesso. I also accented them with red pearls that remind me of holly berries. I've found that Polyshrink translucent shrink plastic is really good; it seems to work well nearly every time! I also cut some that I had left over into the shape of a tag. I tried die-cutting one from the Tim Holtz tag die, but it did not really shrink small enough for my mini-project. I stamped this with the lovely Santa from the Artistic Outpost 'Snowy Woods' plate, which I love, using Wendy Vecchi Potting Soil Archival ink.
I used another of these images from Snowy Woods as my central image. I fell in love with this stamp and I knew I had to have it when I saw it on 'Paper Profusion's' blog used so beautifully. I stamped it onto card with Potting Soil Archival, the card was sponged with Fresco Snowflake and a touch of Spruce Distress Ink. I then embossed one of the snowflakes from the Artistic Outpost set with Wow embossing powder in white, just sponging with a tiny amount of Cinnamon Fresco to highlight it. I embossed the wreath from the set in Wendy Vecchi Fern Green, colouring the bow with a red Sharpie and sprinkling with frantage. I attached it with foam pads. I then added three snowflakes from the plate, Spruce embossed with clear embossing powder and Stickled and given gem centres. The Sentiment appears on the image, but I stamped it out again and curled the edges to give a more 'vintage' look. I also added Rose Quartz Treasure Gold to the curled edges of my central image. I echoed the curls of wire by adding curls of paper from the edge of the thin card I used for my central image. They are Snowflake and Cinnamon, edged with Tim Holtz Vintage Photo. I added a gauze, white ribbon and a scrap of red gingham for the Shabby Chic look.
As all the images on my project are from Artistic Outpost I should like to enter my project for the Artistic Outpost, November Referral.
I should also like to enter it for the Fashionable Stamping Challenges Shabby Chic Christmas and finally
The Artistic Stamper November Challenge, which is Christmas!
Thank you so much for stopping by today and looking at my little Magpie Christmas decoration. Have a lovely, creative week!


  1. Oooh love how you've actually made the easel part of it, looks fabulous with all that 'snow' on it.

    Sam xxx

  2. This is going to look fab on your mantlepiece I'm sure - great Shabby Chic Christmas the dimension the curls add, the wire looks great..thanks so much for sharing with us at FSC..Esther xx

  3. Absolutely gorgeous, Julie Ann! I love the texture on the easel and beautiful use of the stamps. All the tiny leaves and sparkly frantage are just delicious, and I love the unexpected pops of colour. And gesso'd wire looks pretty cool too! Thank you so much for playing along with us at Artistic Outpost and at The Artistic Stamper.
    Alison xx

  4. This is absolutely gorgeous Julie Ann! Love all the layers and the stamping - just everything! Mind if I Pin it later?

  5. HOOT HOOT, finally got here, bless, how lovely to have Sunday dinner with your Mom, your nest must be all warm and full of love.. I was waiting to see what magic was happening in your nest since I read your comment at Miss Lynne's nest oops her blog :O). Brilliant make Miss Julie Ann, and it was time to create this wonderful piece, cards will get done. I know the addiction to that cardboard, I look sadly at all the boxes in the grocery stores, keeping a Magpie eye out for any different shapes, sorry, back to your center piece, the cardboard all plastered up and painted looks fabulous, I am luck to have one of those lovely easel holding a fabulous canvas :O).. Brilliant idea to incorporate it in the design, looooove the wire then with the plaster fabulous, I know us magpies always pick up any wire, LOL, your going crazy is fantastic, loooove all the sparkle, the easel look, okay running out of adjective I would love to touch it :O), those leaves, making into your signature pieces, brilliant, the Santa's, love the vintage ones, the little swirls, come on, this is SICK as the kids would say, imagine it on the mantel all light up, it's going to like FAN-TAS-TIC !!!!!, You were born to do this my dear Cuz thanks for sharing and certainly brightening up my day, I have a few more visits and then I must get to my desk and start my Christmas tags, scary for me with what I'm attempting :O) (((( BIG HUGS ))))...

  6. That's a wonderful idea and a gorgeous piece of art.

  7. What strikes me as so wonderful is the fact you are not allowing this to be sent out into the world but keeping it to grace your own home for the festivities. Isn't it true that the majority of what we create is to send to others.
    We share a passion for corrugated cardboard and let's own that passion because isn't it a wonderful form of re-cycling that we indulge in?
    Adore the texture on this and your stunning use of paint, I wish I could be slightly more brave in my colour palette, maybe one day.

  8. Delightful Julie Anne, small is pretty and sweet, love the stamp as well.

    Crafty hugs from Shirl x x

  9. This is one of the best projects you have done - so clever and will be sure to enjoyed over the Christmas season! Chrisx

  10. Wow wow wow absolutely gorgeous, I so love Christmas and I love this, what a fantastic idea decorating the easel, I may have to have a go at that if you don't mind. I am in love with the stamp you used how gorgeous is that. I so love your Shabby chic style stunning. I keep meaning to send you an email, I sent your goodies first class yesterday and don't be shocked. I have been crafting since 2006 and you can imagine us crafters collect a lot. I also have won loads of giveaways from the craft mags. So your parcel is large. Only to say a big thank you for all your support but also because some of the things I don't know what to do with and you inspire me so much I thought I would see what you do then I might get ideas. It's like decorated tags I will never use and pink embellishments etc, as a magpie I know you will love it all. When you get the package you will see a A4 sheet with two pics on they are your colour inspiration. Also I bought you some wings that I bought myself, hope you like them. Hope you like everything. Let me know when you have received them :-) hugs Kezzy xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx

  11. Back with my other hat on Julie-Anne - still love this.

    Thank you for sharing with us at Fashionable Stamping Challenges.

    Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x

  12. I am struck by just how much. You enjoyed making your project! You and your family will enjoy it in years to come. I love all the small details. Thanks for sharing with us at FSC!


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